My Boyfriend Wants Me to Get A Higher Degree And Earn More Money.

Hard working man writing

I am 40 years old, started dating a gentleman, age 50, about six months ago. I feel that I have lots in common with him, and can truly say he is my biggest love that I ever could experience in my life. He has a Doctorate degree, and I have an associate degree. He says he is worried about getting older and fears not having enough money to support himself. And he’s very tight when it comes to spending money. I don’t have any financial expectations from him but he has said if I want to be with him long term, I need to go back to school and establish a stable career. He wants someone who can bring home a yearly salary of about 70K. I think he is worried that he might have to take care of someone financially. I also get the feeling that I am not good enough for him intellectually, and that he is looking down on me. It hurts my self-esteem and I started feeling insecure about myself. He says that love alone is not enough to live on. It makes me wonder if those sayings are all excuses. I’m not sure what to do! May I ask please for your opinion?

Thank you.

Your boyfriend might have a doctorate, but he’s lacking in emotional intelligence.

If you’ve been reading for awhile, you’ve heard me extol the virtues of character, kindness, consistency and commitment to women who choose men for being tall, handsome, educated and rich.

You’re not his mom. You’re not his caretaker. You’re not even his wife. If he’s worried about not having enough money, HE should get job training to learn how to get a new career.

My advice applies the same, regardless of gender.

Let’s count all the ways your “gentleman” (ahem) is far from the “biggest love” in your life.

I’d be surprised if he was your boyfriend by the end of this blog post. Evidently, he…

Fears not having enough money to support himself. That’s HIS problem. You’re not his mom. You’re not his caretaker. You’re not even his wife. If he’s worried about not having enough money, HE should get job training to learn how to get a new career. The fact that he’s telling his new girlfriend that he needs financial support is not only stupid and tone-deaf, but embarrassing as hell.

Is very tight when it comes to spending money. Well, I’ve always made a clear distinction between being cheap and being poor. If he has no money, being tight is a prudent idea. If he has money and refuses to spend any of it, then he’s being cheap. I can’t tell you which it is, Anne. But I can tell you that any man who…

I don’t care how much you “love” him, this dude’s issues render him unsuitable to the institution of marriage.

Issues an ultimatum that you need to go back to school and establish a career is arrogant as hell. If YOU don’t think you have enough money to support yourself and YOU want to go back to school to make yourself more marketable in the work place, then that’s an admirable goal. It’s just not a goal that anyone has the right to make for you.

The fact that he came up with a salary for you? As if you had to bring a 70K dowry to your relationship?

Run, baby, run. I don’t care how much you “love” him, this dude’s issues render him unsuitable to the institution of marriage. As he said, “love alone is not enough to live on”.

Let him know as you walk out the door and find a man who accepts you as you are.

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  1. 1

    My take is that the boyfriend wants to end the relationship. He just doesn’t have the balls to do it.   He knows that by coming up with a silly ultimatum, she will do the heavy lifting of breaking  things off.
    Whenever someone comes up with an ultimatum like “earn more money” or “lose more weight” or whatever, that person already has one foot out the door anyway. They have nothing to lose by issuing the ultimatum because they either get a partner who will do it or they don’t have to pull the official trigger of ending things.
    Whenever anyone issues an ultimatum in anything, whether it be in the relationship world or business world, that person has already come to peace with the option of the other person walking away and is OK with it.

    1. 1.1

      Wow, I find so much truth in what you said. I have made an ultimatum to my boyfriend. I have never looked at it the way you said it but yes, I already have one foot out the door, step up or step. I am prepared to let him go.

  2. 2

    Wow! I had the same reaction to “bring home 70K a year”. What a tool! OP, what is it about this man that makes him the love of your life? Is he kind? Is he considerate? Is he loving? Because honestly besides shared activities, everything you’ve told us seems negative. What are the things that balance this negativity and make you tolerate comments like “get a better degree” and “make more money”?

    As an aside, I don’t think he’s asking her to support him. I think he just somehow decided that 70K is what a person needs in order to save for old age and he wants to ensure that she won’t depend on him financially as he’s worried about making ends meet for himself. Or maybe I’m incorrectly giving him the benefit of the doubt. Either way, wow.

  3. 3

    When I read this the phrase “He wants a nurse with a purse” came to mind. He’s 10 years older than the LW. Presumably will be reitiring sooner. Worries he’ll have enough to have a comfortable retirement for himself. OFCOURSE he wants a woman who makes minimum 70k a year. Bleh. Evan’s right – run.

  4. 4
    Karl R

    Anne, (original letter)
    1. You get the feeling that you’re not good enough for him intellectually.
    2. You get the feeling that he’s looking down on you.
    3. Your self-esteem is getting hurt (due to the way he’s treating you).
    4. You’re starting to feel insecure about yourself (due to the way he’s treating you).

    That’s your definition of “the biggest love” you “ever could experience” in your life?

    That’s not love. You’re infatuated with him. Sufficiently infatuated that you’re willing to ignore the harm this relationship is doing to you.

  5. 5

    OMG! How much clearer can the writing be on the wall? This man is a dooche-bag (spelling? don’t use this word too much because I don’t surround myself with these types of people). Agree with Karl R, how can you call this the love of your life with how he makes you feel? You need to snap out of it girl!

  6. 6

    Haha… This really reminds me of my own experience. I had more than two years on and off relationship with a man like this too, who’s afraid that he would have to support me financially, and he couldn’t understand that I am a foreigner who really found difficulties finding job in the “country of croissant” 😉

    I fought as strong as I could, worked shitty jobs to show him that I could earn money, even though not much. I worked in advertising agency before as an art-director, but in this country, I mean nothing. But still, he’s not happy with all my hard-work. And always look down at me.

    Like Evan said, you should run ! And find someone who accept us for who we are. 🙂

  7. 7
    JD in LA

    Wow !! This man is the biggest love that she ever could experience in her life? Maybe literally? How else can anyone rationalize something so blatantly WTF.
    One wants to abuse and one wants to be abused. Groan.

  8. 8


    You are 40 years old and he wants you to go back to school to get a higher degree? First of all, that’s really expensive and if you are fine with your job and your life then forget him. Going back to school means you will most likely have to take out a student loan which takes forever to pay off. This guy is not worth going into debt over and I know sometimes it’s hard to break it off when you really like/love someone but I don’t think he has your best interest in mind, only his. Get rid of him and find someone who can appreciate you for the awesome woman that you are.

  9. 9
    Lynn (the other one!)


    I broke up last year with a guy who was cheap as hell. That kind of tightness about money never shows up only as about money. It shows up also in a lack of generosity of kindness and consideration. It shows up in bed as sexual withholding. It shows up as an unwillingness to communicate and address any issues that are blocking personal growth.

    Run and don’t look back. It’ll hurt but not as much as it’ll hurt in another 6 months.

    1. 9.1
      Dina Strange

      100% agree. It shows up in all aspects of life…

    2. 9.2

      Were you dating my ex? You described my last relationship perfectly. I heard via a close friend of his that he wanted me to earn as much money as he did (he makes over $100k per year). He was so hung up on money, except when it was something he wanted. He talked constantly about his friend’s live-in girlfriend who paid for their vacations, etc. He always omitted the important fact that she made good money and was living with his friend for free. He was so enthralled with this girl and I strongly suspect they were seeing each other, which was one reason I broke up with him.

      I can understand a man wanting a woman who can support herself. That’s important. However, this woman’s boyfriend sounds like he wants a sugar mama I feel her pain, but this guy sounds like bad news.

    3. 9.3

      It is like you were reading the book of my life right now so close to the truth!

    4. 9.4

      OMG. I thought I had a knight in shining armour who stood by me when I was sick for many months. I got back on my feet after a   month I was discharged from  hospital  doing part-time and earning 1800 a month, while he was earning up to 10 grand a month. Started to be more and more calculative with me, talking about dividing assets. Finally pulled the plug and said I don’t seem to be putting my weight in the house hunting process and financial planning. –>Hence not someone he could see a future with. Dumped me right after we landed at the airport for a romantic getaway meant as a celebration for my recovery. It was cold as hell.

      You are absolutely spot on. “It shows up in bed as sexual withholding.” I was hardly ever satisfied. He didn’t make me feel wanted.

      “It shows up as an unwillingness to communicate and address any issues that are blocking personal growth.” I never knew he was THAT unhappy because I was supposed to read his mind.

      Glad he set me free.

  10. 10

    That man wants a female version of himself.

  11. 11


    I might get the smackdown for this (and maybe deservedly so), but for the sake of healthy debate:

    “Evidently, he…Fears not having enough money to support himself. That’s HIS problem. You’re not his mom. You’re not his caretaker.”

    It’s not entirely clear whether he’s looking for someone to help support him or if he’s afraid that he’s going to have to support someone else, based on two separate sentences in her letter. First, she says that he fears that he won’t have enough money to support himself. Then, she says that she thinks he is worried that he might have to take care of someone financially. To me, there’s a big difference between these two possible situations. Why? While no one should expect someone else to pick up their financial slack (that’s ridiculous), I think it’s reasonable to be concerned about having to take care of someone else.

    I know that you believe that if one partner has the ability to take care of both partners, then he or she should. That is a fair belief, and in a perfect world, I would agree with you. But what about in the world where the vast majority of women don’t want to take care of a man financially in the way that most men don’t have a problem with taking care of a woman? I don’t want to defend this man by speculating on what he might be thinking considering that he’s put some bullshit ultimatum on her, and I believe that she should leave him for this reason. However, I get the impression that, based on what you’re saying, you would still give her the same advice even if he didn’t issue an ultimatum. This is where I have to respectfully disagree. If I was in a situation where I made a lot more than my partner at that age, I would be concerned about having to support her. It wouldn’t be because of cheapness or lack of generosity, either. It would be because I know that if the roles were reversed, almost no woman would do this for me. I know that two wrongs don’t make a right, but given this reality, one needs to stand up for what is fair at some point. This man should have done what most women do, which is not even consider to date someone who makes considerably less in the first place.

    “Issues an ultimatum that you need to go back to school and establish a career is arrogant as hell.”

    100% truth. No arguments there.

    1. 11.1

      Well, a rare event has occurred; I agree with most of what Chance has written :). I do wonder if we’ve heard “the whole story:” if the boyfriend in question worries about having to financially support his woman in the future, and if she has given him just cause for those concerns. I also agree that in this day and age, even someone who can afford to support another should feel no obligation to do so (regardless of gender).

      A second, unrelated point: I cannot count how many people I know who went back to school in hopes of boosting their income but came out unable to score higher-paying jobs than before. The boyfriend in question is mistaken if he truly believes that a new degree would guarantee his girlfriend $70K/ annum take-home pay.

      1. 11.1.1

        I don’t see why no one should feel an obligation to care for anyone else’s financial needs… Just in terms of the job market, if people in committed relationships would pool their income, those who aren’t able to provide for themselves or their loved ones would have a better chance of finding a job. I think the paradigm of everyone being able to find a good job if they want to, just as you say in your post, is history. So logically speaking, those whose loved ones can provide for them financially really shouldn’t feel guilty for not needing a job (or at least one that pays a lot). They’re doing a good deed for someone else. (That’s just one side of story, I’m sure — if someone else disagrees I might be interested in arguing the other side!)

      2. 11.1.2

        A real man actually wants to take care of his woman. It is hardwired into most men to be the provider and protector. So many people seem to think that  tit for tat and going Dutch  is the best way to maintain relationships. I say that  relationships are  reciprocal but they are not meant to be equal.  Meaning that if I marry a man who makes more money than me, I’d compensate in other ways. It’s not a competition – what’s “fair” when it comes to platonic friendships doesn’t apply in romantic relationships.
        He’s not unreasonable for worrying about his financial future. He is unreasonable for placing the demand on her to take steps to earn more money. If a woman did that to a man, I’d say the same thing. No one has any right to try to change someone else, even if they think they’re doing that person a favor.

        1. Chance

          Jenn, you have the right to think that a “real man” is hardwired to provide and protect just like a man has the right to think that a “real woman” is hardwired to cook, clean, and produce/raise babies.   Problem is this:   most women don’t think they should have to do those things.   In fact, I haven’t met one woman in my life who thinks that’s her role.   There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but it makes any reasonable man ask himself:   “Why should I have to provide?”

      3. 11.1.3

        Absolutely agree – With the high cost of college and depending on your age, college may not be a financial plus.   The cost of college could outstrip it’s value.

  12. 12

    I am not sure we heard the whole story from the poster. There may be more than one side of the story. I am in a similar situation in my life right now.

    Two weeks ago, I just came back from a week long trip at Cabo with my girlfriend of a year. At the moment we split the cost of the trip which we both agreed to in Jan. However, a week before the trip, she told me that she decided she was looking for a relationship where the ‘man would take care of her’; she has seen it in her social circles (divorced twice) and says a man ‘ should be proud to take care of her’. And if I cannot or will not agree, she intends to ‘find someone who will’ as she see it being done for other women like her in our community. It knocked me back a couple of steps.

    Now she is not poor as she is a college grad and makes the median income for a family of four and spends all but $4k on herself. My girlfriend has modest savings from her marriages/inheritance, but not enough to retire early. (She is 54 and I am 58). I helped her get a trust fund set, a will and even did a financial plan to show her that IF she was alone, she would have to work to 65 and then more modestly than she does now.

    I have told her together we can retire early by combing our assets and lifestyles. To make sure no one confuses me with the other boyfriend in the posting, I never told her (or even suggested) that she needed ‘more income’ or ‘more schooling’ . Simply put, financially together we can do more as a couple than spending/saving separately.

    I pay for all our dates, dinners for special occasions, etc; given some modest but nice jewelry and items for her house. However, her comment on shifting all the costs to me blew me away. Her tastes in clothing, personal care, housing, furniture are quite expensive from where I usually stand. So my girlfriend finds herself in a bind: she want to quit work and be taken care of and at the moment she cannot do it for herself for 15 years. Interesting enough, I figured together we can combine together and retire in about 4-5 years.

    I was pissed by this new announcement of entitlement. If the Cabo trip was not booked and paid for, I would cancelled and have written her off to latent gold digging and then walked away to reconsider the entire relationship. But the money was already spent and we had a great time.

    Up to this point we have been talking in her moving into my house and she can rent/sell her condo; nothing is firm but it was progressing well. My girlfriend made it clear the she can save money as I already spend the cost of running a house and she would provide cleaning, and wifely duties that stay at home women provide.

    Once I got over the surprise/shock, if she would offer a portion or proportion of costs to run the home/lifestyle, I would be fine … but she does not want to touch her nest egg.

    I am trying to recover and decide what I am going to do with this relationship. I am still not sure if she is burned out at work as she constantly complains about the pressures and wants a way out. Or if some true character is really starting to emerge that took a year to show up. Overtime, I can easily see a 75/25% split based on our individual net worth; I want some financial sharing, too as I do not want to deplete my future estate while she sits on hundreds of thousands.

    Sorry for the long comment. Maybe I am not a generous as I think or I am being played for the fool. Right now I feel I am at a crossroads and we need to establish ‘new rules and expectations’. Since money is prime drive of breakups in any marriages, this must be solved before we EVER move into the same street number.

    1. 12.1

        Greg- if you don’t dump this princess, and if you let her move in, then your story qualifies for the Beta male sucker of the year.
      And referring to my earlier post- if your girlfriend is slapping on this “take care of me or else” ultimatum, then she already has one foot out the door anyway. Someone who loves you or at least cares for you a  lot, would not put that financial burden on you. Have some respect for yourself and your own value in the dating marketplace and get a new woman.

    2. 12.2

      Do not move in with that woman. Do not combine finances. You’re not being played for a fool but you have likely been fooling yourself that she likes you for you instead of you and your provisioning. She’s let her mask slip after all her friends harangued her about paying for part of the trip in the lead up to going.

      She will quit her job at the first work crisis after she’s not paying rent and living with you and will still expect to maintain her present spending levels. Any plans you make based on her financial contribution unless iron clad in a court of law are vapor.

      Take another look at what you know about her previous marriages with your new perspective on her sense of entitlement. What’s the saying? “A tiger can’t change its stripes.”

      Call her out on the “find someone who will” by suggesting you both see other people and curtail what you’ve been spending on dates and be less available and less accommodating even if you agree to remain exclusive. The PUA guys call it “Dread game.”

    3. 12.3
      Karmic Equation

      Hi Greg,

      If I were you, I’d dump her. Why? Because a woman is as likely to change as a man on this issue and it’s only going to get worse.

      If characterizing her as a gold-digger would help you get over her, then you should do it.

      Were it me, I would say her selfishness and her lacking of a sense of fairness are huge red flags.

      And I’m a woman, jic you weren’t aware 🙂

      Good luck to you. You sound like a great guy. Finding a better woman shouldn’t be difficult. Just try not to get blinded by beauty—the way women get blinded by charisma—to her faults.

      1. 12.3.1
        Dina Strange

        It’s so funny to read guys comments here who call that woman gold digger,a and set up this guy up there for misery.

        Men you have your friends to thank for your bitterness and loneliness.

        1. Karmic Equation

          In all fairness, men use the word “gold-digger” the way women use the word “player”.

          They’re the gender equivalents of each sexes greatest fear in the dating world.

          Men are afraid they’re being used for money. Women are afraid they’re being used for sex.

        2. Chance

          Actually, his gf sounds worse than the bf in the original post. Tell me where I’m wrong? Also, I second KE’s comments.

        3. Rose

          Dina, what if Greg was your son? Or, if you’re too young to imagine yourself having a son, what if he were a brother that you dearly loved? If you find your brother dealing with a woman like that, would your advice to him be different? Would you advise him to be a bit more cautious moving forward?

          Greg is not wrong to think about his own interests and it’s not wrong for his friends to think about his interests. i think he seems quite level-headed and self aware.

    4. 12.4


      Are “wifely” duties enough for you in exchange for supporting her? If so then maybe she is a keeper as long as she holds up her end of the bargain. If not, I think it’s time to walk. I find it worrying that this woman feels entitled to being taken care of and at least as far as I can see, she is not offering a heck of a lot in return. I’m inclined to think that she will do what Frimmel suggested once she moves in with you. I really hope that you do not find yourself tied down in a situation that is no longer under your control. Good luck!

    5. 12.5


      If you feel there is too much discrepancy between what each of you bring to the table then I don’t think you should move in with her. If she has recently become demanding she may be doing the ‘bait and switch’. Get you to become attached to her and then start to show her true colors. But if you think she will contribute to the household in significant non-financial and ways (cooking, cleaning, emotional support, caring, etc) then it might work. But I’d still want to observe her for a while.

      I second everything Karmic Equation said. Also she sounds incredibly inflexible, which doesn’t bode well. Can she compromise?

      1. 12.5.1


        Your points are well taken. Over the years, I use to be dogmatic and demanding, but life and its lessons have lengthened the discussion. I understand her POV but not exactly sure if she he just negotiating. I am watching and listening for now and will not do anything rashly. I did tell her that a cohabitation agreement would be written and signed legally as I have already paid a big check to leave a 27 yr marriage. And I have heard stories of ‘roommates’ who will not leave or do damage.

        Hell, this all sounds so uncaring and selfish on both sides, does it not? I want my final relationship to be based on a commitment of love and respect, not legal terms and docs. Perhaps it can be both??

        Like others reactions once, she started the conversation, by telling me what she wanted and then making no bones that it out there for her to get if cannot provide or agree… well, it left me cold. I keep playing that tape in head.

        Yes, she is younger and better looking than my ex… and that is an definite attraction. But her character is now raising some yellow flags…at the minimum. My nature is to take her ‘concept’ and break it into dollars and cents … get very specific, ie take a business approach. Then she how she reacts and accepts. Then I guess I will see how ‘flexible’ she really is.

        1. Dina Strange

          I think she should dump you. Or you dump her. I can already tell it’s not going to work. You both are doing business deals and those relationships ultimately fail.

          I think you both have issues, and approaching your relationship not from the point of mutual love and/or care but from the point, of how can i get a better deal for myself out of this.

          Anyway, it won’t work…and it’s both of yours fault.

        2. Chance

          “I want my final relationship to be based on a commitment of love and respect, not legal terms and docs.”

          I can’t imagine a woman of this type would not expect you to marry her. That said, a prenuptial agreement is just as much an unromantic contractual document as a marriage certificate, which entitles her to half of your assets and possible alimony (especially if she stops working) in the event of the dissolution of the relationship. This is why you need to send her on her way.

    6. 12.6

      Greg @12 – Of course we can not ever be sure if we here “the whole story” from anyone, the orgi letter writer or any of the commenters in this thread.  
      However, your situation seems very different than the OP.   She stated that she has no financial expectations from her boyfriend.   Also, they have been seeing each other 6 month, and there is nothing to indicate that they live together, so unless she is living at home with her mom and dad, she seems to be supporting herself.
      Your girlfriend seems to be emotionally black mailing you.   That you better “take care” of her or she’s out the door.   I think her demands, coupled with threats to leave if you don’t meet her demands are the most troubling.   And I would find that troubling if she was demanding ANYTHING, even something other than financial support.
      In fact, any request turns into a demand when coupled with the threat to leave.   Not a good way to navigate and negotiate the ins and outs of relationships.   Money isn’t the problem here, it is a symptom of a deeper problem.
      Good luck to you.

  13. 13

    I have a doctorate and a good job. Because this region is impoverished and overall anti-education, yep, I out earn most men by a factor of four. If I feel as though the difference in values, lifestyle, is too great or feel as though the dude is in search of a meal ticket (common among old ski bums here), I dont date him; its that simple. No using for sex, attention, no expecting him to morph into something he is not. This dude has other issues: He is a tightwad which means he either has debt you don’t know about or is just plain cheap. He is looking down on you. If you want to get a higher degree, fine, but do it for YOU, at a time that works for you. Education is the one thing that no one can take away from you. BTW, a 70k salary is only attainable in most places with a Master’s degree or higher and after a good deal of experience in position. Getting such a job probably entails relocating. This boy is setting you up to take a fall.

    1. 13.1


      Agree with everything you say except the last. I’m not sure where you live but a 70K salary is not that hard to get where I am. No Master’s degree required! I realize that being in IT gives me a misguided view of what salaries should be but even accounting for the overinflation in my industry, I don’t think 70K is as difficult to attain as you say. You did mention that you are in an impoverished area. Or perhaps I just need a reality check? 😛

      1. 13.1.1
        Dina Strange

        Tech sector pays more. If she works in social services or as a teacher, it’s much harder to attain 70K. Actually, you have to have Ph.D. in Psychology or History to be making 70K in social humanities services.

        It’s the most underpaid positions.

        1. Noquay

          Very true. My degrees are in the Sciences; most of my humanities colleagues make far less and are expected to do the “publish and perish” thing, bring in extramural funding, have grad students and fight for tenure besides. They also are younger, doing the family thing and struggling to pay off massive student loans. Daunting enough for a 20 something let alone someone who is 40. However, the whole point is that this man is an a$$.

  14. 14

    The OP probably says he’s the best love of her life because he is the most educated, good looking, tallest, or richest guy who she’s ever gone out with. She knows instinctively that she’s dating above her league. She bases her evaluation on external objective qualities and feels she can never ‘do better’.

  15. 15

    Interesting that Anne puts “Doctorate” degree with an initial capital letter, but “associate” degree has a lower case initial. That already shows that she thinks his level of education is more important and valuable than hers. There is nothing wrong with advancing your education, but it is something you should do for yourself, not because you are given an ultimatum by someone else.

    If he wants you to establish a “stable career”, is that because you don’t have one now? Or is it that you just don’t make the level of money he would like? If you supported yourself before he came along, then he has no reason to criticize you. Going back to school could take a few years if you also continue to work, and it could be a few more years before you attain that level of income.

  16. 16
    Karl R

    Chance, (#11)
    If someone has the ability to support their partner, they can greatly expand their options by being willing to do so.

    It’s entirely possible that Anne’s financial situation leaves a bit to be desired. That said, Anne’s boyfriend is demonstrating a remarkable lack of flexibility in finding solutions. And it’s pretty clear that they don’t have a similar attitude towards finances.

    Greg, (#12)
    When someone tells you who they are, BELIEVE THEM.

    This woman has just communicated that you strongly disagree on financial matters. You’re not even close. I would address this directly with her in order to see if there’s a compromise that works for both of you. When you have this discussion, present her with multiple options which would work for you. When my wife and I came to an agreement on how we would handle our finances, I presented her with three options, the pros & cons of each, and which I preferred.

    (If your girlfriend is just burnt out with her current job, one possible solution would be for her to find a different job.)

    In our discussions, my wife was welcome to suggest modifications or her own alternatives. In addition, she is welcome to revisit the topic if she ever decides that the current way of handling expenses is no longer fair. (This could certainly happen if either one of us has a dramatic change in financial status.)

    But it sounds like you two are worlds apart in how you view your future finances. If you believe that your financial disagreements will lead to years of strife and unhappiness (which seems probable), you should do yourself a favor and let her leave.

    Dina Strange, (#12.3.1)
    How are men setting Greg up for bitterness and loneliness?

    When I was single (most of my life), I was not unhappy. I was not bitter. I was not lonely. If Greg enters a marriage where there is constant strife over finances, he will end up being unhappy and bitter. He could even end up being lonely, if his home environment becomes sufficiently hostile.

    I’m happily married. But I still hold by one of my beliefs from when I was single:
    A bad marriage is worse than no marriage at all.

    Do you disagree with this?

    1. 16.1

      Karl (16).. .Your advise is appreciated. I have welcomed her input, but let’s get real: ‘fair’ is in the eye of the beholder. I earn 4x what she makes and expects that my pay/savings can carry her during retirement.

      She has established her ‘walk away position’ early on, but have agreed that working vs retirement funding are two distinct lifestyles to be funded.

      Since my original posting, I found out that if we lived together she would not expect me to cover “all her expenses” like car and gas, etc or food. But housing, utilities, and such are already paid by me now and she see no reason she need to shift her savings to now newly defined joint expenses.

      Again, I do expect some ‘sharing’ and ‘skin the game’, but not 50/50 from her POV as our income are so different. I can concede on that point, but during retirement it will not be 100% funded by me. So the discussions continue. And I know my walk point too.

    2. 16.2

      If you are lonely and single, you have the opportunity to change the situation. If you’re lonely and married, you’re pretty much in it, depending on whether or not one values marriage. But marriage should always be entered into with intention and purpose.

  17. 17

    One thing that sticks out of the letter, though, is that he wants her to “establish a stable career.” That indicates to me that her current means of support is not stable. Maybe she’s a dogwalker, or a personal assistant. Nobody knows.

    Also, just because he is well-educated, with a PhD, doesn’t mean he makes a lot of money. Do you have any idea how many PhDs can’t find (well-paying) work these days?

    So if he’s not making great money, and if she’s not making good money, I can easily see how he might be concerned about her becoming a drag on him, financially. He may be a bit ungracious, but is he wrong that love alone isn’t enough to live on?

    1. 17.1

      The OP should run away fast.   He is attracted by her youth, and probably finds women in his field or education level unattractive, controlling, etc., etc.   Too bad, if an older man wants youth and beauty, he has to pay for it.  Dump him fast.  Same with Greg`s GF.   If she thinks at 54 she can find a   man she is attracted to AND willing to let her do nothing except look pretty, she may be in for a shock unless she accepts a MUCH older man.   She is going to regret her lack of flexibility   ( nothing wrong with him bearing most of the burden, she should be more gracious).

  18. 18
    Dina Strange

    Once again, I am going to say something, though i do expect most of people don’t want to hear it. All relationships are exchange deals. Doesn’t matter if he brings in money, and she brings in youth and beauty, it’s still an exchange. Same as, she brings in house comfort and love and care, and he brings in stability or vice versa.

    This guy wants his cake and eat it too. The girl is 10 years younger, so she obviously has other options thus she puts in her conditions. It’s his choice to take them or leave them. Stop calling her a gold digger and so on/forth. She was honest about what she wants. I find it admirable.

    If he doesn’t like her conditions, he can walk away, nobody is holding him with her. Personally, i grew up in a society where man was expected to be a provider. Perhaps not the sole one, but still a provider. I find nothing wrong with it. If in this case, the guy doesn’t like what the girl wants, he should walk away and not string her along.

    I am sure he can find someone his age how will be strictly 50/50 with him, though i don’t know for how long it will last. Most of women i know like when a man shows them attention or tries to take care of them, same as most of men i met like when a woman is supportive, kind and attractive. It’s life. Deal with it.  

    1. 18.1

      Dina, mostly I agree with you, but I think Greg`s GF that wants to be taken care is is only four yrs younger than him ( he 58, she 54).   The OP is 10 yrs younger than her BF and he wants HER to start making a lot more money.   HE is the one who wants his cake and ice cream.  

    2. 18.2

      @Dina Strange,
      You seem to be contradicting yourself when you say in  one post  that “you both are doing business deals and those relationships ultimately fail,” but then say above that “all relationships are exchange deals.” It’s certainly true that relationships should be based on reciprocity and consideration, as well as mutual love, but that’s not possible when one person is acting like a selfish, spoiled, privileged brat by refusing to ease the burden for her partner by making a financial contribution. It’s perfectly fine for a couple to   mutually decide to allocate financial responsibilities to one person (especially if the other is raising children and not working) but when a woman demands to be ‘taken care of” as her intrinsic right it should raise all sorts of red flags, because  it likely means she has zero empathy.
      I  find it interesting that you  think that cheapness in a man will show up in all  other aspects  of his personality, but apparently don’t  believe that the type of depraved entitlement evident in Greg’s  GF will  likely spill over into other parts of her life. Also, when you say that you were taught that men should be the providers and you find nothing wrong with that, you are essentially infantilizing women and placing them on the same footing as  children. The 1950s breadwinner model is over.    

  19. 19


    I agree that every person brings something to the relationship table and in order for a relationship to work, there has to be balance.   For some people, beauty is a great trade for money and there’s nothing wrong with that if it works for both parties.   However, both beauty and youth will definitely fade while the money may not.   This brings to mind a very funny series of craigslist posts I once read.   There’s a good chance they were fake but they were hilarious nevertheless.   My point is that it is not wrong for a woman to expect to be kept because she is younger/more attractive than her partner but if that is the only basis of the relationship, she shouldn’t be angry if she is cast aside once the beauty has faded/her partner gets a better deal.   Most people are looking for something more long term so the beauty/youth for money trade is not enough.

    1. 19.1
      Dina Strange

      In today’s world where most of wealth is defined by stock market or real estate values, wealth can disappear as fast if not faster than youth or beauty. If well taken care of beauty stays for long time….but wealth can disappear in a second once market plunges.

      I am hopeful that most of people do look for something more than wealth or beauty. True relationships must be build on something permanent.  

      1. 19.1.1

        While wealth can disappear quickly, it usually doesn’t.   Real wealth is driven by cash flow.   Beauty, OTOH, is virtually guaranteed to erode with time.

  20. 20

    I LOVED this advice.   I realize it might have been hard for the woman in the situation to hear…if she still likes her man.   But I can relate, because I just got out of a relationship with someone who essentially made my lack of a profession a deal-breaker.   I’m a preschool teacher and that wasn’t good enough for him.  
    So thank you, Evan Marc Katz, for putting it out there like that!   I’m getting sick of guys having mixed up priorities.  

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